Last year, it seemed like orange was everywhere — on runways and racks, in Pinterest décor porn, and on lips, nails, and even eyelids. And it was all thanks to a niche biz in New Jersey: Pantone, which got its start as a printing company in the '50s and made it big with its proprietary color-matching system. Once known mostly by graphic designers and manufacturing pros, Pantone has infiltrated pop culture with its Color of the Year, chosen by reps from around the world at a hush-hush meeting after much debate. Last year's hue was Tangerine Tango. This year's newly crowned color? Emerald (#17-5641, to be exact), a "lively, radiant, lush green" that Pantone describes as the "color of growth, renewal, and prosperity." Which doesn't exactly tell us how to pull it off without looking like a tree. So we tapped a few local beauty, fashion, and design experts to help us go green in style.
Although it can be a universally flattering shade, this green-blue hue is a go-to for hazel eyes, says Boston makeup artist Noel McKinnon, owner of makeup2die4. "Emerald pulls from the specks of color within your eyes to make them pop," she explains.
For day, McKinnon suggests a neutral shadow and emerald eyeliner, like Make Up For Ever's Aqua Liner in Diamond Lagoon Green ($23). Blend emerald shadow with peach, cream, or a metallic for nighttime wow factor. Try the ecru and emerald shimmers in the NARS Misfit eyeshadow duo ($34), or go straight to the source with the Sephora + Pantone Universe 2013 Color of the Year beauty collection, whose eye shadows, lid liner stain, mascara, jumbo eyeliner, and glitter dust will hit shelves in March.
McKinnon also gives the green light to statement tips in this bright shade, noting that short nails and warmer skin tones wear it best. Julep's Nail Vernis in Emilie ($14) is a bold forest-green crème that gives just the right pop of color.
FASHIONEmerald was the crown jewel of the Spring 2013 collections of Tracy Reese, Nanette Lepore, and Marimekko. But how to wear it off the runway? "Pairing [emerald green] with other bolds, such as royal blue, fuchsia, or purple jewel tones, works surprisingly well," explains Christina Pierce of Newbury Street's Christina K. Pierce Boutique Fashion Agency. "Stay away from orange, or you'll be sporting too much of a peas-and-carrots vibe."
When accessorizing emerald, Pierce suggests richer tones in gold or antique brass. She would complement the earthy feel of Ted Baker's Fama Magical Print dress ($137) with a statement-making purple-and-gold necklace and a deep-amethyst or purple shoe. "A beige or light camel-colored coat takes the look from desk to dinner," she says.
"An emerald statement necklace is also a great way to add sophisticated style to an outfit without really trying," adds Pierce. Wear Boston jewelry designer Magdalena Stokalska's aventurine-and-rhinestone necklace ($130 at wickedpeacock.com) with a non-competing neckline in a color like white, beige, gold, or nude to really make it stand out.
It might seem bold, but Kendra Amin-Dufton, co-owner and interior designer at Boston's colorTHEORY, says emerald is actually quite versatile. "It lends itself to a variety of feels, from preppy and traditional to funky and edgy," she explains.